bambooWe always advise potential participants and their families to speak to our references. They are the best spokespersons. The proof of VISIONS teen service programs abroad is “in the pudding,” rather, in the unique program ingredients that are the VISIONS participants themselves, their reactions and reflections. Samantha Saccomano, Westport, CT, was with us last summer in Vietnam. In Samantha’s case, we are hard-pressed to decide which is the more glowing reference for VISIONS teen travel programs abroad: her words or the powerful images she snapped of Vietnam. Samantha wrote to us recently.

“This past summer, I participated in the VISIONS Vietnam program. Through working and travels, I was able to document and photograph our journey and the people we met along the way. Though all of my images mean a lot to me, I chose seven to enter in numerous photos contests and to send to colleges that I am applying to. My high school decided to display my photos in school to highlight the importance of understanding and learning about different cultures. In the near future, I am planning on a kids’ clothing drive so that I can send clothes to the children at the [Thuy An] center.

Thank you so much for…this experience. Upon my return from Vietnam, I feel like a changed person with a drive to try and change the world as much as I can.”

VISIONS is an amazing program. Here are my favorite photos that I took on my trip.

Samantha, thank you for joining VISIONS Vietnam in 2010 and especially for these beautiful images.

VISIONS in The New York Times